It is an age-old conundrum that the majority of parents experience as their children start to think (or not as the case may be) about their futures. But just how can you support your child with their career choice without seeming overpowering or controlling?
We cannot, of course, make this decision for our beloved sons and daughters; to do so could well have an adverse impact and put your child off education and career altogether. However, there are some subtle and discreet ways that we can ensure our offspring set off in the right direction and make the most of their potential.
As regular readers here at Collegiate will be aware, we are committed to bringing students all across Europe all the information they need to make an informed decision about their studies. Today, we thought we’d compile a handy guide for parents looking to provide their children with assistance regarding their all-important careers.
Be sure to listen
The first tip is essential and may sound straightforward, but this can often be where parents go wrong when it comes to helping with career choices. Be sure to listen to your child and establish exactly how they are feeling as they choose what course to study and which university to attend.
You may have a perception of what you think they are good at or what career would suit them, but your child’s plans could well have changed over the years. Find out how they are currently feeling and if what you hear isn’t quite what you had in mind, be as understanding as you possibly can.
Something you can do, which will have an excellent impact on your child’s careers path, is to encourage research. There are a plethora of reasons why someone may choose a course, but this should always be informed by research and of course suit the students’ skills and expected qualifications.
If you are worried that they are choosing a university or course because their friends are or for other reasons that are far from academic, then just suggest a little bit more research before making their final choices.
Parental support at this time is crucial but just remember not to be too overpowering as this could backfire.
Investigate career opportunities
You can, of course, do your own research, and this will complement your child’s research perfectly. For instance, you could look into the career opportunities that are available in the sector your son or daughter is considering. You can then discreetly bring up your findings should you get the opportunity to discuss their career choices; you could give them the information they haven’t considered and help to prevent them from making a bad choice.
It may well be that your child is already well informed, but knowledge is power and as their parents, you are likely to be one of the key people they listen to during this crucial time.
Suggest some careers events
Finally, if you feel that your parental support can only go so far in terms of ensuring your child makes the right decisions, you could always suggest that they attend some careers events. There will be plenty of these taking place at various high schools, colleges and universities and these may offer some inspiration, particularly to students who still aren’t completely sure they are choosing the right course.
These are usually attended by former alumni, lecturers and tutors and can often be the perfect way to engage your child and boost their interest. We wouldn’t suggest you try to tag along, as it’s just not cool to hang around with your parents at such events, but you can certainly do some research and suggest the best careers events in the run-up to them making their final choices.
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